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Young, happy, all genders and ethnicities
sing along in harmony!
I had a lot of difficulty starting to write this article. On one hand, I felt compelled to talk about this topic, because almost all my interpretation contracts these days are "contaminated" with it. On the other hand, even if the expression: "this topic" is in the singular, I have the impression of dealing with a gurgling pile of topics plural, and topics that are poorly defined, and more or less interconnected. Is it a "syndrome"? An "intellectual fashion"? A "social pathology"? What word should we even use?
Some manifestations of this phenomenon:
- The acronym "EDI" (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion), or some variation on the theme, is found in almost all the speeches of the leaders that I translate, in both public and private sectors. (Note that the acronym "DIE!" is never used! It's a joke I saw on Briggs' web site).
- Very many governmental organizations (in Canada, I have the impression that it's all the Departments, all the Branches in each Department, and all para-governmental agencies) trip over each other to organize committees, focus groups, training sessions (with well-paid external consultants), "Weeks of This" or "Months of That". Inevitably, they talk about equity, diversity, inclusion, but also anti-oppression, anti-racism, transgenderism, micro-aggressions, discrimination, intersectionality, LGBTQ2SI+ (or one of the many variations of this acronym), aboriginals, BIPOC, critical race theory, etc.
- Many private sector companies hire dedicated employees, such as "Chief Diversity Officers", place them high on the organizational chart, and parade them proudly in their General Assemblies.
- Even though in theory the government is "secular", many meetings begin with a prayer recited by an Aboriginal "priest" (in my youth, we spoke of Indians and Eskimos), and if the meeting is important, there will be a whole indigenous religious ceremony.
- In Canada at least, almost all meetings begin with a "Land Acknowledgment". I'm hardly exaggerating when I say this consists in denying that Canada exists, and in insinuating more or less clearly that all white men are thieves, rapists and guilty of genocide, and that before the arrival of big bad Catholics settlers, all Indians and Eskimos lived in harmony in the Garden of Eden.
Nazi propaganda poster. Der Untermensch; the subhuman.
Of course, I don't condemn whatever is good in this whole movement! It would be a labor of love, but somebody could make the effort of carefully reading the authors who invented these topics (not the commentators' commentators), and then extracting all the good things buried in there.
I of course condemn racism, with all the vigor of which I am capable, because the Catholic Church condemns racism, and I am a Catholic.
I also condemn sexism, because the Catholic Church condemns sexism, and I am Catholic.
I also condemn all the crimes committed by certain bad settlers, because the Catholic Church condemns these crimes, and I am a Catholic.
And so on and on...
I'm still studying this phenomenon, but it seems to me that there are at least two "mechanisms" which partly explain the confusion surrounding it.
I'd say that the first of these "mechanisms" is ambiguity. People who promote "DIE! DIE! DIE!" like to take a word that can be interpreted in several ways, then avoid defining it clearly, and then use it to construct sophisms. Discrimination? Hate? Colonialism? Sexism? Microaggression? Racism? Personally, I have never seen a serious attempt to define these terms and many others.
Notice the blindfolded hottie is not holding a «mono-scale»,
with only the arguments of one of the two parties!
A second "mechanism" is simply a guilty verdict immediately following an accusation. It's once again the bad old injustice which consists in not letting the defense lawyer speak. In other words, these people don't apply the old proverb: «Audiatur et altera pars»: May the other party also be heard. If the accused is never allowed to get a word in edgewise, of course he'll always be "guilty"! And of course, if the accused dares to open his mouth, he'll be peppered with the usual accusations.
Forgetting the famous «Audiatur et altera pars» has caused and still causes much harm, but let's take one example of what happens when we don't listen to the other side of the story: residential schools for Indian and Eskimo schoolchildren. In Canada, any mention of these residential schools is inevitably followed by an onslaught of hateful accusations against the Catholic Church: cruelty to children separated from their parents, extermination of languages and "indigenous culture", and even concentration camps where children were being killed in large numbers. Oh yes, really? Oddly enough, many things are never mentioned, like:
4.1) Elimination of non-aboriginal languages? Learning English in addition to his mother tongue is easy for the French-Canadian "white man". Adding a new language to a normal brain does not drive out the presence of a previously-established language. In fact, learning another language, according to statistics I seem to remember, apparently improves mental abilities. Indians and Eskimos don't have less neurons than us. Since when do we have to believe Indians and Eskimos are mentally retarded? The loss of indigenous languages among these peoples was not caused by learning a new language. I don't speak a bloody word of Polish, because my ancestors who arrived in the USA decided not to speak Polish to their children. In addition, the fastest and most effective way to learn a new language is immersion. How can we manufacture this immersion? We must refrain from speaking a language other than the one we're trying to learn. Even English-speaking students who come here in Quebec City to take a French immersion course at Laval University must agree not to speak English during the course.
4.2) Separation from parents? Next time some anti-Catholic weirdo spews accusations about residential schools at you, ask him to buy you a coffee. But a coffee that you'll go drink in Akulivik, or Inukjuak, or Kangiqsualujjuaq, or Kuujjuaq, etc. He'll answer: "NO WAY! ARE YOU NUTS?" Indeed, many of these aboriginal villages are accessible only by plane, and the ticket prices are insane. But that's in 2023! With all the technological progress of the 21st Century! Imagine when these residential schools started, airplanes didn't even exist! How could those Catholic nuns send children home every night? The idea of "separating" these children from their parents, and sending them home only once or twice a year during their studies, was for many the only way for them to go to school.
4.3) Extermination of "aboriginal culture"? I have Polish origins, but no Polish culture. On the other hand, if you ask me where to find "Polish culture", I could tell you about museums where there are works by Polish artists, books written by Polish authors, scores of Polish music, and so on. The Indians and the Eskimos had not invented writing, nor musical notation, nor museums, nor roads (nor geographical maps, nor the compass, nor the printing press, nor Sciences like mathematics, chemistry, history, biology, philosophy, etc.) If you had been a Catholic nun during these residential school years, and you had wanted to pass on this "indigenous culture", what textbooks could you have used? And once again, it's the parents who are responsible for the transmission of this culture. But they didn't have any of those famous Ghost Textbooks either...
4.4) Colonisation? Helloooo! Has the word "Literacy" disappeared from our dictionaries? Why don't we ever talk about the immense service rendered to these Indians and Eskimos? Literacy is the one of the keys to liberation. Since when is it laudable to let people wallow in their illiteracy? How many programs, efforts, teachers, courses, etc., has our government put in place to fight illiteracy? And don't ask me how many times I've translated meetings of aboriginals, where the thinking heads of the group were exactly the ones who had been lucky enough to go to residential schools, by their own admission.
4.5) Communion with Nature? We are constantly being bombarded with the idea that Indians and Eskimos were in "Communion with Nature" before the arrival of the big bad white man. Ha! Thanks for mentioning the word "before", because today's savages, whether Indian or Eskimo or pure-blood Quebecer, would have much to learn from old-fashioned Catholic nuns about respecting Nature. See: The Most Eco-Responsible Lifestyle.
4.6) Rejection of aboriginal religions? Why don't we ever talk about all those Indians and Eskimos who rejected the false aboriginal religions, and who were often persecuted by their blood brothers and sisters because they had converted to Catholicism? Go to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, you'll be able to meet some, and observe they are infinitely grateful for being Catholics, that they were not forced to convert, and that they haven't the slightest yearning for a return to barbaric idolatry.
What do I think of this whole "DIE! DIE! DIE!" affair? What strikes me the most is the connection between this phenomenon and the Little Catechism, more specifically two Questions, questions 2 and 48 (with 48 explained by 58). Let's start with Question 2:
What is Man?
- Man is a being composed of body and soul, and created by God in His image and likeness.
Let's try to analyse all the consequences of this little sentence:
5.1) Both sexes are on the same level. Of course, the word "man" may not be unanimously accepted to designate both sexes, but in my opinion this choice has supporting arguments. What's important is that the Little Catechism carefully avoids treating separately human persons of the female sex and those of the male sex. It places both at the same level, without making any distinction. Indeed, nothing corporeal can be made "in the image and likeness" of an immaterial being. You can fiddle around with atoms, put them in any configuration you wish, but you'll never get intelligence and free-will. What makes a woman a woman, and a heman a heman, is something that is above the sexual dimorphism of animal bodies.
5.2) Substance is not some intersectionality of accidents. Communists, because they believe the dogma of materialism, condemn themselves to seek human dignity where it cannot be. Quick reminder: in philosophy, an "accident" is opposed to substance. For example, a dog can be small or large (quantity), healthy or sick (quality), lying down or standing up (position), here or there (location), etc. But it's still a dog (substance). Now, if man has no spiritual soul, where could his dignity come from? Why should man be "better" than a rock or a pig? Communists must therefore struggle to find a special accident, or some intersection of accidents that would miraculously create "dignity." It's a fool's errand. Moreover, since our human dignity is connected to our substance, and not to our accidents, accidents do not matter. Skin color? Accident without importance for our human dignity. Native language? Unimportant accident. Ethnic origin? Same. Religious beliefs? Ditto. Sexual perversions or healthy sexuality? That too has no effect on substance, therefore no effect on human dignity.
5.3) Human dignity is far above that of beasts. Here again, Communists, because they are atheists, must grant to animals the same dignity as that of men, which ends up lowering human dignity down to the level of that of beasts, which one can kill when one wants (like the history of Communism shows). The Little Catechism, on the contrary, places human dignity in the category of persons (beings endowed with intelligence and will), which puts us in the category of angels and even, in a certain way, of God.
5.4) God exists. Once again, I repeat: if we are just temporary heaps of molecules randomly assembled by a purposeless evolution, there is no point in talking about "justice" and "equity" and all this nonsense.
Most fans of "DIE! DIE! DIE!" will scream blue murder when they hear about "dogma", especially the Dogma of Original Sin! But don't panic, scientists are not shy about talking about the "Big Bang", for example. Think about it: it's impossible to observe the Big Bang. It is impossible to go back in time to scientifically observe this Big Bang. On the other hand, many scientists claim that we can observe today, and do so scientifically, the consequences of this explanatory hypothesis. Are we able to go see Adam and Eve biting the apple at the very beginning of the History of Man? No. But we can scientifically observe what we see today, and offer explanatory hypotheses. Original Sin can take care of itself when it's time to explain what any sensible person can see nowadays. Let's see what the Little Catechism says:
Do the consequences of Original Sin on our intelligence and our will
remain in us after Original Sin has been erased by Baptism?
- Yes, the darkening of our intelligence and the weakening of our will remain in us, even after Original Sin has been erased by Baptism.
What are the main the sources of sin?
- The seven main sources of sin are pride, greed, impurity, envy, gluttony, anger and laziness. They are commonly called the deadly sins.
What are the connections between this Dogma and the "DIE! DIE! DIE!" phenomenon? I see several. Among others:
6.1) ULTIMATE Inclusivity and Diversity. What could be more inclusive than Human Nature? All, indeed really all men have Human Nature, without exception. The dogma speaks of an injury to human nature, not of crimes committed by whites, or blacks, or males, or females, or old people, or young people, or Catholic Priests and Bishops, etc. Geography, skin color, period of human history, nationality, religion, name them all if you want: all men have the wound of Original Sin (except of course Jesus who is God, and his Immaculately-conceived Mother, but this doesn't concern our discussion here).
Dog chasing its tail.
6.2) Protection against futile efforts. Most fans of "DIE! DIE! DIE!" probably have very good intentions. But good intentions aren't enough. You also need a real solution to the problem, otherwise you become like a dog chasing its tail. Imagining that we could solve the problem of pride, greed, impurity, envy, gluttony, anger and laziness, simply by fiddling with accidental nonsense that's unrelated to our profound nature, is just chasing our tail. Do you think you can solve the problem by putting more people of color on Boards of Directors? Or by adding yet more layers of fat and molasses to the Soviet Quebekistan bureaucracy? Or by criminalizing the use of certain words in the dictionary? Or by putting a male cross-dresser as the head of the Department for the Status of Women? Human nature will remain the same.
6.3) Protection against Dreaming in Color. The Communists of modern Quebec firmly believe in the Myth of the "noble savage", of a privileged class which is genetically superior. Whether it's women, or aboriginals, or children of Muslim immigrants, or any tax-subsidized pseudo-intellectual who speaks out against the big bad USA and big bad capitalism, there's this unshakable belief in something that would make such a class superior to the others. Except that all these people are men, and they all have the same human nature wounded by Original Sin. Stop dreaming in color.
6.4) Protection of Science against charlatanism. Fans of "DIE! DIE! DIE!" often attack Science, using the following maneuver. They show Scientists, then they show that these Scientists have committed evil acts (see list of deadly sins above), which had a negative influence on what they taught as Scientists. So, they say, Science is not scientific, or no more scientific than Indian and Eskimo oral traditions, or astrology, tarot, etc. With Original Sin, we can distinguish between Science, and this or that Scientist. That a scientist commits a sin is not surprising, a scientist is a man, and every man has the wounded human nature. On the other hand, Science, when done well, arrives at true conclusions, unlike charlatans.
6.5) Protection against the evils of Atheism. We have to be careful with the Dogmas of the Catholic Church. They form a delicate and balanced structure. If you attack a dogma, you will suffer the consequences, which are sometimes difficult to predict. One of the consequences of the elimination of the Dogma of Original Sin is Atheism. Indeed, if our human nature as it exists now was created as such by God, then God is a cruel fool. Every day we see crimes, wickedness, destruction, selfishness, etc. And all this evil is distributed all over the Earth, and in all periods of History. There is obviously a BIG problem with human nature. With Original Sin, man can be blamed for the misuse of his freedom. Otherwise, we must blame the Creator of our nature, or deny His existence (with all the horrible consequences that entails, as explained above).
A faithful reader of this web site sent me his comments, which I put here in their own Section, because they seem true, and CRT seems related to the "DIE! DIE! DIE!" phenomenon.
By insisting that reason and logic are not universal but are merely part of oppressive Western colonialism, and that different "ways of knowing" deserve equal weight, critical theory disables the primary mechanism by which different groups can talk to each other and reach common ground in society. While not explicitly condoning violence, it forecloses every avenue of dialogue, leading followers down a blind alley where only one course of action remains: "Burn the oppressor!"
The founding critical theorists understood its destructive nature. Critical theory was developed in the 1960's by Marxist thinkers who were disillusioned by the failure of communist revolutions to deliver the utopian society, and by the failure of workers in the West to rise up at all ("internalized oppression"). They felt that in order to prepare the ground for revolution, one needed to first de-legitimize the existing power structures of society. Their innovation was to attack (or "deconstruct") not merely the structure of economic relations, but also the culture itself. Marxism failed, they reasoned, because it did not strike deep enough: it left basic cultural ideas in place which continuously gave rise to new structures of oppression, like fruit growing in poisoned soil. Thus, culture itself must be subverted to excise the evil. Critical theory was intended to supply the practical tools for doing so.
The technique is simple: divide every domain of human endeavor along any axis that creates winners and losers; label the losers as oppressed; label the winners as oppressors; encourage people to claim an easy and unearned virtue by identifying with the oppressed and condemning the rotten system; prohibit reconciliation or dialogue; repeat endlessly. Critical theory is specifically tailored to turn liberal society's greatest strength - an openness to criticism - against itself. It teaches people that they are powerless to act in the world apart from their class identity, harnesses resentment and anger, and weaponizes compassion and empathy to silence opposition. Attention should focus on attacking any successful group (because striving for success legitimizes the corrupt power structure), and picking at historical wounds located along the natural fault lines of a culture, like race and language.
As first conceived, critical theory was to facilitate an expansion of the Marxist class war between the Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat into social and cultural realms. Once all power hierarchies and oppressive systems of thought have been destroyed, then a utopian society can emerge. Details to be filled in later, on the other side of the gulag...
Marxists are of course no longer leading most deconstructionist movements. But by releasing these theories into the world, where they percolated into mainstream social activism by the late 1980's, the original theorists in effect handed a bad set of tools to a whole generation of well-meaning activists whose only fault was not knowing the difference between "leftist" and "liberal." Critical theory - being designed to destabilize oppressive power structures - seemed like a natural addition to the toolbox of social activism. It is indeed very effective at subverting hierarchies: no administrator wants to be seen as heading a racially-oppressive power structure, and thus can be browbeaten into surrendering the levers of power to the most radical and unreasonable of activists. Most activists who use the tools of critical theory don't understand that they were designed only to destabilize and destroy - not to heal or improve.
Communists love "DIE! DIE! DIE!", because they can use it to give themselves a good reputation, pretending to fight against bad things like injustice and racism and sexism. Then they have complete freedom to attempt to assassinate Jesus and his Church, as they have always done in Human History.
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