“To shock or not to shock?”
This Social Matter article got me thinking about shock, or more specifically: the value of shock. In the article Mark Christensen argues against being politically-incorrect on the ground that anti-PC is not an actual identity: it only exists in juxtaposition to the reigning power, a.k.a. that which is PC. Basically he makes the very relevant point that the anti-PC frame is the same frame employed by an angry teenager who rails against his oppressive parents. The teenager may think he is all wise and independent but he is in fact in a codependent-narcissistic relationship with his parents. He gets a kick by speaking truth to power but he is in actuality completely dependent on the response of his parents upon which he feeds. He NEEDS their PC so he can calibrate his anti-PC.
So don’t be that teenager. Create your own path. I agree with that message. But I have some extra thoughts on the subject since I struggle with this myself.
Shocking is not without merit. Firstly, there is the emotional clarity of communication a good provocative statement brings to the table. As the word implies, to be ‘shocked’ by something is to be temporary jolted, perhaps into a clearer frame of mind. It can be good to jolt people – negative emotions are a powerful motivator, if not the most powerful motivators. Clarity works. Long articles stay unread and book suggestions are forgotten. Radish has 0 mainstream appeal. A single picture conveying a similar message however…
Clear meme, clear communication. Whether or not you personally believe the facts presented in the picture is irrelevant – the message got to you in exactly the opposite way Radish did not get to you. Good memes work. Ask Goebbels.
Secondly concise shock-statements help to clear one’s mind. In a world filled with post-modern confabulations nothing is as refreshing as a couple of good anti-PC memes that get straight to the point. What goes through for intellectual debate is often a lot of words to describe very little content, despite everybody nodding their heads in consent. Concise memes cut through this mind-wank like a knife through butter. It makes you put skin in the game. I’ve done this before but just to re-affirm:
- Women are snakes with tits who seek demon lovers without patriarchy’s firm guiding hand.
- Blacks are more violent and have lower time-preference when compared to whites. The races do not mix well.
- Islam is an evil and destructive religion of war.
- Jews are intelligent yet inherently subversive.
- White heterosexual men built the best civilization.
- Progressivism/Marxism is the devil.
- Theology > philosophy
Thirdly and finally, do it for the lulz. Lulz are fun. It’s good to have a fun time.
That is what I have to say in favor of shock. But to quickly counterbalance each pro-shocking argument:
- Emotional clarity argument — speaking emotional truth is scarily effective in terms of breaking other people’s reality. But is it productive? I find myself agreeing with the NRx sentiment that NRx is per definition never a mass movement, so I think not. Today your shiny might convince someone, tomorrow another shiny will do the opposite.
- Clearing one’s mind argument — There is truth in this one. Yet at what point have you made up your mind and are you just being an polarizing asshole for the sake of being a polarizing asshole?
- the Lulz argument — Lulz are nice, but so is strategic thinking. If you like playing with fire don’t be surprised if you burn yourself.
So I conclude that it is better to curb my tongue more often and try a subtler approach. I will however publicly proclaim my love of Murdoch Murdoch. So good!