Three cheers for actor Laurence Fox, who on the BBC’s Question Time refused point blank to acknowledge the very validity of the existence of the “unconscious institutional racism” of the British people voiced by a (white) audience member regarding the Artist Formerly Known as HRH.
Relevant factoid: a new survey shows that 80% of non-EU immigrants feel welcomed in the UK: it’s 90% for EU immigrants.
Laurence (son of James Fox) has recently decided he can no longer even pretend to go along with wokeness, although knowing that in all likelihood speaking out means he will never work again. That is, at least until the whole intersectional fallacy collapses under the weight of Ricky Gervais, Gillette ads and the backlash of ordinary people who have had enough of ideologically fomented conflict between units of an ideologically constructed new class structure.
Another interview over the alleged racism behind press criticism of Meghan Markle was by Phillip Schofield with a (black) expert on such matters, a successful female New York Attorney in the field of finance. Here are a couple of excerpts from the exchange introduced by a very deferential Schofield questioning the charges of racism:
“What examples do you have?”
“You see, that is another problem…”
“I haven’t seen anything that I could say was prompted by racism.”
“And this is part of the problem… you see it through the lens of white privilege.”
I hadn’t fully realised before this new year how little “white privilege” has to do with even the allegation of actual bad thoughts, words or deeds in the intersectional mind-set. The guilt (as Fox rightly brought out) comes simply from being white and male, and therefore embodying the Patriarchy in a way that most closely resembles being a class enemy under Marxism.
That similarity is not surprising, because identity politics of this nature has its roots in Marxism (back to Gramsci and the Frankfurt School). Soviet “revolutionary justice” changed the basis of legal and moral accountability from “the content of a man’s character” to “class origin.” Intersectionality has simply replaced economic class with a limited and arbitrary multiplicity of other criteria like the colour of your skin or possessing a Y-chromosome.
One significant point about this is that Marxism is an example of that select group of all-encompassing nineteenth-century theories that were supposedly scientific, but are actually incapable of proper Popperian falsification.
Another such discredited mega-theory, more familiar to me from my university study when it still had a degree of traction in medicine, is Freudian Psychoanalytic Theory. One key concept of that is the Oedipus Complex, in which a key factor in psychological development is the desire to sleep with your mother (or father, if you’re female). Now, when confronted with such guff back in the day I would honestly reply that I had never had any such designs on my mother, and indeed for most of my sheltered childhood would never even have known what they meant.
The reply from the convinced Freudian was always the same: the theory was right, and my denial was itself clear evidence of just how deeply my Oedipal Complex was repressed into my subconscious. Or was it my unconscious? I can’t remember (having repressed my reading of Freud).
Analytic theory slowly collapsed not long after because it was finally fully appreciated that the supposed evidence for such well-hidden secrets was simply the word of Dr Freud and the gullibility of academics. The fact that he claimed to have gleaned it from hundreds of patients taken through analysis is only a sign of the extent to which suggestion can be subtly absorbed after months spent on a psychiatrist’s couch. Indeed, it has even been suggested that many of Freud’s neurotic female patients were actually victims of child abuse – they actually had slept with their fathers, with all the mental trauma resulting from that. Maybe they were helped by coming to believe their abuse was fantasy. But in any case they scarcely embodied a universal truth.
So a plausible theory dreamed up by a pseudo-scientist became popular, to the point that it trumped the plain experience of ordinary people, whose vehement denial of their Oedipal leanings eventually turned out to be, as they had always said, because they didn’t exist.
Fast forward to 2020, and we have set of fashionable theories about oppressed minorities that have been developed by mainly leftist sociologists (now, remind me what proportion of sociology and psychology research is it that is not replicable? Oh yes, 64%). As we have seen from the examples of Fox and Schofield, our own experience of what’s going on in our minds is to be discounted (by us, as well as by the courts and the social media) in deference to what the sociologists say we’re thinking. To which I reply, why should I believe a single word you say?
On the other hand, on the authority of these same sociologists, the experience of the oppressed (in this particular case “people of colour,” but the same would apply to any other group in the Authorised Legion of Oppression) must be taken as not only valid, but as universal truth for all people in those groups.
Yet, as in the case of those people undergoing psychoanalysis, long and concentrated exposure to the Litany of Woke, through your Gender Studies or Humanities course, the media, your primary school indoctrination and now, even, your Southern Baptist Seminary (apparently) is pretty well guaranteed to condition you to experience the world in that way. You become able to smell out a racist as infallibly as Klan members of old claimed to be able to smell someone of another race… in fact the two senses have identical origins in ideologically fomented enmity. Though I admit that here I may be exhibiting my “unconscious implicit bias” against misguided fanatics.
After your intersectional training, you gain such moral certainty that you can also know for sure that any other non-white, or gay, or disabled person, or Muslim, or woman, who denies such a negative experience of the world is a lying traitor to the cause. What’s even more interesting is how, apparently, the divine light of intersectional theory also enables you infallibly to see the world through the eyes of a Laurence Fox or a Phillip Schofield and judge them. To be woke is to be all-seeing, the theory is that powerful.
But it’s not, of course. All it does it teach you how to make it impossible for other people to refute the accusation, because any possible denial is deemed “part of the problem.” I mentioned how Freud achieved the same thing and fooled the fashionable world for most of the twentieth century. But it goes back much farther, to an example possibly of even more relevance, given the spurious authority accorded to intersectionality over all our livelihoods and social standing now.
Back at the time of the seventeenth century witch-trials, one sure-fire test of guilt was to get the accused to recite the Lord’s prayer. Any stumbling or hesitation, which would be scarcely surprising under such stress, was clear evidence of your pact with Satan.
It seems that one accused man in Salem, a minister named George Burroughs, saying his last words on the scaffold, recited the prayer flawlessly. They hanged him anyway, dismissing his performance as being dictated by Satan. You see, the theory is always right, and you are always a witch, or a repressed neurotic, or a capitalist running-dog, or a white supremacist.
But as soon as you ask yourself on what evidence, and on whose authority, the theory is right, you begin to see that, like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, pulling on the curtain reveals a mere man sitting behind it, and no wizard at all.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col 2:8)