The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, May 24, 2018


The blog Declination discusses something we encounter almost every day—the notion that being "nice" always trumps doing or saying something that is not perceived to be nice. In general, that's true. Most of us try to be nice, to measure our language, to avoid direct criticism of others for a more circumspect approach—all in the name of nice. Some refer to this as "civility," and it does have merit. But sometimes (as the saying goes) we lose ourselves for caring. Sometimes we see people use the fact the everyone wants to be nice to bulldoze their ideas and ideology, knowing that people hesitate to object because they don't want to be perceived as "not nice."

Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) couch all of their positions in "nice." For example: The City Council of Seattle decided that a head tax of $500 per employee should be levied on big companies in order to ease a housing crisis that has created additional homelessness. They argue that the tax would help house the homeless. That's nice, but wrong. Similarly, in CA, there's a move afoot to provide "free" healthcare for illegal immigrants because ... well, illegal immigrants have health care needs too. That's also nice, but wrong. Those who argue that the costs of such measures are significant, that they will have unintended consequences, or that they are simply wrong-headed are criticized for being "not nice." The opponents of such "nice" proposals are accused of being against the homeless or anti-immigrant, or in the case of the illegal immigrants, "racist." Of course accusing someone of being a "racist" isn't very nice, but SJWs do it ALL the time. It's their cudgel and they use it with glee, along with accusations of misogyny, Islamophobia, bigotry, white privilege and the like. None of those epithets are nice, or accurate, or honest.

Declination writes:
Whether we consciously know it or not, this thinking [the need to be nice] is everywhere, and at some level all people are aware of it. Watch almost any political debate and you will notice the person espousing a “not-nice” opinion will invariably be apologetic; after all, he is quite sorry that his opinion isn’t as nice as his opponent’s. He doesn’t want the spectators (the real arbiters of debate) to think he’s a big meanie.

Note also that the debate opponent with the “nicer” opinion will generally be quite ruthless and cruel to the not-nice debater. After all, since his opinion is not nice, it is permissible to treat him like shit in order to change his opinion into the nice. Furthermore, it exposes his not-niceness for the spectators to see, this winning the debate for the nice. This shows us that this form of rhetorical niceness is conditional. Do not harm the criminal who breaks into your house, but feel free to punch Rightists, because their not-niceness proves they are all Nazis.

This ties into Weaponized Empathy; the notion that your own good nature and desire to be seen as righteous can be turned against you with one sad picture, with one sob story. What, you don’t want to push granny off a cliff, right?

There’s a fallacy buried in all this. Good is not necessarily nice. What is moral may not appear nice, and what appears nice may, in fact, be quite evil. Niceness has little – if any – correlation with goodness. It is good to defend your family from a murderer. It is not nice to the murderer, obviously. This is one of the reasons modern pacifism is rooted in moral cowardice disguising itself as moral superiority.

Social Justice elevates niceness above goodness, and tries to claim the moral high ground in any debate as a result. They are taking advantage of a cheap rhetorical trick. Fortunately, there is an easy defense. Invariably, SJWs will get ugly. Their not-niceness will be exposed. If they sling it at you, you are permitted to sling it right back. Quid pro quo may be the most effective means of combating SJWs. Any tactic they use is now on the table for our use, regardless of how nice it is. Intellectual courage demands it, actually. After all, if a nation lobs a nuke at you, you are not only permitted to nuke them in turn, but morally demanded to do so – else others might get it into their heads that they can lob nukes around without consequence.

The world is not nice. Reality doesn’t care. They are hard lessons that SJWs have failed to learn because many of us have restrained ourselves out of politeness.
Nice has limits, particularly when it's not reciprocated. It's not nice to call half the country "deplorable." It's not nice to suggest that America is currently a "racist" country. It not nice to ask people to apologize for their "white privilege." It's not nice to shout down a speaker with whom you disagree or even worse, ban that speaker entirely? It's not nice to be selective in the facts you choose to acknowledge. It's not nice to demonize free markets. And when those things happen, the response should be NOT nice. It should NOT be apologetic, it should NOT be circumspect, it should NOT bow at the alter of political correctness. It should NOT worry about name-calling and it should NOT give an inch. After all, SJWs propose nice" but then react to objections not nice. The response should reciprocate.