Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Another Leftist Gets Lefted

Taking offense is a kind of conspicuous consumption

"We have, in other words, reached the point where people are ostracized, not for holding unfashionable opinions, but for tolerating unfashionable opinions. Calling for free speech is, in the world of our oh-so-sensitive student activists, enough to deny you the right to free speech.

A hundred years ago, British teenagers were fighting in the trenches of Flanders and the alluvial plains of Mesopotamia. Today's teens demand "safe spaces" and protection from the hurtful idea that someone somewhere might say something disagreeable.

What's really going on here, though, is a form of conspicuous consumption. If you want to flaunt your piety, it is no longer enough to say, "Gay people should be treated equally before the law." Most people now agree with that proposition, robbing it of its niche value. To be properly fashionable, you have to find more recherche causes, such as condemning gay people who are insufficiently angry about "transphobia." In the case of the l'affaire Tatchell, we see the ugly culmination of this competitive virtue-signaling: "You want free speech Racist! Sexist! Homophobe!""
It will be interesting to see how these children fare in the world of employment - or whether they become a generation of permanent welfare fixtures which is perpetually aggrieved and increasingly self-trivialized.

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