2012 October 14 Sunday
On Labeling Opponents Of Multiculturalism As Hateful

Ross Douthat draws attention to the Obama administration's decision to misrepresent the motives of the attack on the US embassy in Libya and to turn against the maker of a video which was very critical of Islam.

What happened instead was very strange. Having first repudiated the embassy’s apology to Muslims offended by a movie impugning their prophet, the Obama administration decided to embrace that apology’s premise, and insist that the movie was the crucial ingredient in the Sept. 11 anniversary violence.

For days after the attack, as it became clearer that the Benghazi violence was a Qaeda operation rather than a protest, White House officials continued to stress the importance of the “hateful” and “disgusting” video, and its supposed role as a catalyst for what Susan Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, insisted was a spontaneous attack.

That the Obama Administration would label a video that lampoons a religion as hate demonstrates why I so distrust Barack Obama. The primary use of the term "hate" is to label someone as outside of civilized discourse and deserving of pariah status. But lets get to root causes. Why use the term "hate" for this purpose? The role of hate looms so large in the elite liberal mind in large part because liberals lack the ability to understand non-liberal minds.

The left has elevated their own psychological blindness and misunderstanding into a campaign of marginalization where they label their opponents as hate groups. This blindness of liberal minds to half the moral considerations used by conservative minds creates a condition very much like the Dunning-Kruger Effect where someone lacks the ability to detect the extent of their own misunderstanding, ignorance, and incompetence. In this case liberals are unable to understand conservatives. So they call conservatives hateful (and this gets so very tiresome). But at least liberal psychologist Jonathan Haidt understands the differences between liberal and conservative minds and the extent of liberal blindness on same.

Steve Sailer is concerned by the threat typified by the Obama Administration's reaction to the Al Qaeda attack on the US embassy in Libya. Says Steve: As immigration becomes more of a sacred civil right for foreigners, free speech becomes less of a one for Americans

The Grand Strategy of the Obama Administration isn't much different from that of the Bush Administration: Invite the World, Invade the World, In Hock to the World. But, you won't hear that from Romney and Ryan.

This is the part that scares me. Will multi-culturalism and the desire to placate ethnicities at home and abroad cause an even larger reduction in freedom of speech than it already has? Speech codes in workplaces are already left-liberal. I'm expecting them to become more strictly enforced and for that enforcement to extend beyond the workplace.

I would add one more explanation. The Obama Administration is reflexively pro-multicultural and therefore anti-free speech in the advanced European and Canadian fashion. They see the First Amendment as all very fine for pornography, but, to be frank, more substantive free speech is outdated in a multi-ethnic age of empire when the government has to keep hot-under-the-collar newcomers, such as Muslims, and old grievance groups, such as blacks, from burning down cities over perceived slights.

The argument for outlawing hate speech is made by some college professors and Jeffrey Waldron's book against the constitutionality of hate speech was published by Harvard University Press. This does not bode well for the former republic.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 October 14 09:50 AM  Cultural Wars Western

Mercer said at October 14, 2012 10:40 AM:

"As immigration becomes more of a sacred civil right for foreigners"

Immigration is not sacred for foreigners. It is considered sacred by some Americans.

" liberals lack the ability to understand non-liberal minds. "

I think many non-liberal Americans also don't understand non western minds. They think they can remake the world in America's image because our values are universal. A government with no official religion and that tolerates speech attacking religion is unusual in world history. It is certainly not normal in over 1400 years of Muslim history.

Maintaining our unique degree of free speech is difficult when we increase our interaction, through immigration here and military bases abroad, with people who have different values.

James Bowery said at October 14, 2012 12:38 PM:

Hatred is the emotion of powerless resistance.

Hatred becomes a crime during the last stages of consolidating tyranny.

Lyle said at October 14, 2012 2:52 PM:

Your hatred of liberals is getting the best of you and causing you to overgeneralize.

It's the same phenomena as when some tar all conservatives because some reject evolution.

Randall Parker said at October 14, 2012 10:41 PM:


As a very agnostic member of the secular right I'm not demonized and marginalized by fundamentalist Christians. They are more civil than that. The Christians who reject evolution are causing far less damage than the liberals who reject the consequences of evolution. By contrast liberals are very quick to label people like me haters even though the HBD-aware secular right is the most rational in its attitudes toward human nature and about the consequences that human evolution and genetics have for social policy. The Great Dumbing Down is made possible by the liberal blank slate standard social science model (SSSM), which is an ideological rather than a scientific model. Putting smart and unruly dumb kids in classes together is caused by the SSSM. The huge growth in illegimate births by the lower classes is enabled by the SSSM, not the religious right.

Look, both the liberal moral model and the conservative moral model are defective. But I ask myself which defective model right now is causing the greater amount of damage? I think that's not a close call. It is the excessive belief in the malleability of human nature that is causing the worst social policies and the undermining of codes of conduct that served very useful purposes not all that long ago.

If the right wing Christians were causing the greater damage I'd aim more of my criticism at them. But they aren't exactly on the march. They are in retreat in influence and what they advocate isn't all that damaging anyway.

Jason said at October 14, 2012 11:31 PM:

I like how Bob Wright looked so dumbfounded throughout much of the video. I think that is a truthful reflection of modern liberalism.

Mike M said at October 15, 2012 8:44 AM:

I am not so sure it's always the case that liberals are unable to understand conservatives as it is that many are don't bother to try to understand conservatives. This group that prides themselves on being tolerant and open minded is anything but. Why bother putting yourself in someone else's shoes and trying to see things from a different perspective when you already know all the answers. It's understandable, yet somewhat ironic, that liberals also don't understand foreign minds - although they claim to do so - and here the Dunning Kruger effect is clearly at work. Because the liberals think that they are so smart and so tolerant and inclusive, they fail to see their own ignorance and lack of understanding. Because they feel it is natural for them to understand others, they don't make the intellectual effort necessary to understand thinking that is really different from their own. They view people in the Middle East as different only in the extent that they giver their god a different name and they wear different clothes. They fail to or refuse to consider the profound differences in thinking and perception inculcated by 1000's of years in a culture far different from ours.

Labeling speech or crimes as "hate" is simply a deeper extension of the left's failed concept of moral relativism into our lives. When someone commits a crime against me or says something I disagree with, I'm really not concerned with whether or not they like me or dislike me - and who amongst us is really omniscient enough to know someone's true intentions. What I am concerned with is the truth of their statements and the validity of their arguments. If my best friend is an editor at the paper and refuses to print my letter because he disagrees with my views, he's certainly more of a threat to me than someone who hates me yet acknowledges my right to free speech.

Mike M said at October 15, 2012 9:18 PM:

Mercer - I don't think you understand the gist of the Sailer's statement, "As immigration becomes more of a sacred civil right for foreigners, free speech becomes less of a one for Americans." The context of this comment was in regard to the left's "eagerness" to admit any Tom, Dick or Harry (or perhaps more to the point, any Mohammed) into the country, i.e. for foreigners, immigration has become a right. On the other hand, the left has permitted speech that it deems OK (such as pornography), but they have tried to impose increasing limitations on speech they deem politically incorrect. Sailer highlighted the case of the foreign criminal who was granted entry into the country and allowed to stay here despite his criminal history (in other words, immigration was deemed a right for him). Yet, it was his exercise of his right to free speech that brought on the wrath of the left.

As far as maintaining our 1st amendment rights, our interactions with foreigners here or abroad should have no bearing on our rights here in the US. When US citizens are abroad on private excursions, they should abide by the dictum, "when in Rome..." Likewise, foreigners in the US are expected to abide by our laws - or they can stay away. Government and military abroad on PUBLIC business face a different situation and must balance diplomacy with not sacrificing principles or US sovereignty. For example, they shouldn't bow to foreign leaders.

Check it Out said at October 16, 2012 6:51 PM:

I'm sure

Maciano said at October 17, 2012 10:41 AM:

Jonathan Haidt's research is insightful. It explains why very liberal people always assume the worst of conservatives. But I've also noticed that quite a lot of the most vocal liberal opinionators simply have (somewhat) hidden motives.

For example, it would make sense for unmarried people to argue against other people marrying young -- hedonists would have fewer oppurtunities for sex. Another would be muslims, usually right-wing, to support liberal parties. Liberal parties support multiculturalism, thus Islam is given a rightful place among all other cultures. I've met quite a bit of libertarians who support free markets and deregulation, because, in its essence, they think they will prosper much more under such circumstances -- regardless of the effects for others and society at large.

I do not need to go into lots of other groups or ideologies, because everyone here knows about these mechanisms. Haidt's work would indicate that liberals are unaware of their unawareness towards other people's morals.

Is this really the case? Maybe for some, but for lots of others I doubt they're ignorant.

I suspect a lot of liberals support liberal policies, because they perceive traditional/ conservative policies to be unfavorable to them. And I guess some factions of them to be right about that. A redesign of modern liberal society will not be good for everyone.

Check it Out said at October 17, 2012 3:05 PM:


I think Jonathan Heidt has a set frame of mind about what his idea of liberal and conservative should be, but that cannot be true for every lib or con. Not even for a considerable percentaje, I think. I also don't see any evidence of religious being happier than atheists.

When one claims to know how in general liberals or conservatives, religious or atheists think or even feel, one is displaying a very simplistic, even childish view of things really, because you cannot argue logically in favor or against a statement. We can at most say that some things could be true in some liberals and true in some conservatives; true in some atheists and true in some religious.

I think that knowing if religious people are happier than atheists -a priori- is impossible, just like saying than Chicagans are happier than New Yorkers. There's just no evidence in favor or against such a statement anymore than to say, "Dallas is the most beautiful city in the U.S." Simply impossible to know.

I think Jonathan is shallow. Way too shallow.

Mik said at October 18, 2012 6:41 PM:

Liberals have a harder time understanding conservatives than visa versa because conservatives live in a liberal world, not the other way around. Liberalism predominates the media, academia, and pop culture. Liberalism is considered "mainstream." That's why, when in comes to immigration, the idea of simply enforcing the laws we have on the books is considered extreme, but blanket amnesty for millions of illegals is the establishment position. It's a wonder conservatism has any influence at all in politics, considering the message from every movie, song, social science book, mainstream media news, and comedy news like Jon Stewart, is that conservatism is for kranks and kooks.

Soleman P said at October 20, 2012 3:41 PM:

Free speech? What good is free speech if most people don't really have an opinion? What's even worse is that most people have the illusion that they have an opinion, while they only repeate what they have been indoctrinated with.

Soleman P said at October 20, 2012 4:04 PM:

I don't know what Jonathan Heidt understads by "parental authority" of which there's practically none left nowadays. Jonathan Heidt believes too much.

If that was a debate, I didn't hear much from Robert Wright. If that was just a soliciting interview, well, I think it's not worth much.

Soleman P said at October 20, 2012 4:22 PM:

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.

This video is just an example of this.

Mike M said at October 21, 2012 1:46 PM:

By analogy, one could ask what good is the right for someone to to be allowed to practice the religion of Judaism if only a minority of people are Jewish. The Bill of Rights was intended to protect the rights of individuals. A majority has the power of the vote to protect - and abuse - its own rights.

It is possible that some people do not understand our individual Constitutionally protected freedoms and dismiss them as worthless because they have been indoctrinated and simply repeat the words of their "teachers" rather than forming their own opinions. Just saying...

Check it Out said at October 22, 2012 11:24 AM:

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there's free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate."

I'll second that. Not many here could've said it better.

ASPIRANT said at October 23, 2012 6:25 PM:

Honestly, the liberal tendency to label everything and everyone they disagree with on a racial basis as "hateful" seems to me to be the same phenomenon that lead to the inquisition, red scare, etc... White people are very keen to police their own thoughts, and especially, to demonstrate the purity of their thoughts by publicly flaying people who they think espouse "impure" beliefs. The same fervency with which someone today will insist that they don't have a single racist tendency, have black friends etc... is the same thing as someone getting conspicuously teary-eyed at a patriotic film in the 50's, or spending hours praying in church before that. They do this even in the absence of any oppressive political power that demands it, as if it's a personal responsibility. It seems to be a uniquely European phenomenon, though I'd be glad to hear if anyone can think of other groups that have had similar things happen in their history.

I really don't think this is a uniquely liberal thing, it's just that right now they have the most culturally entrenched example of this tendency. And other ethnicities have gone along with it because obviously, they have a lot to gain.

What does anyone else think?

Mthson said at October 23, 2012 8:11 PM:


I'd describe it as that European culture's unique history of outsized success (dominating the entire globe) coupled with their northern prosocial temperament causes their tribal equality instincts to go into overdrive.

Multiculturalism has occurred at this time in history because gender equality biased society away from what created outsized success in the past, and toward the softer and more short-term, pleasure-oriented worldview of women (on average).

We can see a microcosm of these same dynamics in Cleopatra's softer world seducing first Julius Caesar, and then Mark Antony away from their world-building enterprises.

The timeline for this was gender equality in voting being established in 1920, gender equality in working being bolstered during WW2, and then the children of that generation created the 60s and 70s, which established the current state of demographic and cultural decline.

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