One of the reasons I left America back in 2009 and have been living abroad ever since is because I always knew there was something wrong with the environment I found myself in. Since I hadn’t yet developed a deeper understanding of the underlying issues, I couldn’t exactly pinpoint as to what exactly was wrong; I couldn’t coherently describe what the problem was.
At that time I was living and working in San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most politically-correct and liberal cities in the entire America (and perhaps the world). My relationships with women were superficial. My relationships with men were also lackluster. The majority of the people I was surrounded with lacked a defining masculine/feminine polarity, something that, as an Eastern European, I’ve completely taken for granted.
Moving to Brazil changed everything. Within a day or two of landing in the beautiful Rio de Janeiro, it felt as though my life regained full color as opposed to a strange monotone existence that I called “life” back in San Francisco. Initially, my goal was to only stay for three months. I left almost two-and-a-half years later.
The move to Brazil and the subsequent culture shock prompted me to launch this blog, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The West’s dilemma
Throughout the decade of living abroad, a clearer picture gradually emerged that helped me understand the issues facing the West and even some ways of remedying it.
America is a highly developed country when it comes to things like economics and politics. It also prides itself on having a strong democracy where individual rights reign supreme. One of the byproducts of a highly evolved democracy is a politically-correct culture.
Whether you realize it or not, on paper, political correctness (PC) has its purpose. In a country like America, which is made up of different races, religious and ethnic groups, it’s simply impossible to build a cohesive society without rules that dictate acceptable behavior. If someone didn’t like black people and thought they were somehow inferior, they would say that. If someone thought that women were inferior, they would say that. If someone didn’t like gays or lesbians, they would say that. If someone didn’t like Jews, they would say that.
That explains why political correctness isn’t needed in a homogenous country like Japan or South Korea, where people the majority of the population are Japanese or South Korean, respectively. It also explains why countries like Russia and Ukraine aren’t very politically correct; they are also very homogenous societies where people aren’t worried about offending each other; and, as a consequence, where people also aren’t easily “triggered” (offended) by what others say.
Unfortunately, any kind of policy that aims to control human behavior to end discrimination and oppression can be also used as a weapon to create new forms of discrimination and oppression. Any rule, if pushed too far, can be twisted beyond its original purpose to become a problem instead of a solution it was designed to resolve.
The problem with political correctness that we’re experiencing in the West, and, specifically in America, is that it no longer strives for “equality”; that’s just a misnomer to control the masses and shame those who disagree. It has duly crossed the Rubicon; the problem is that it effectively legitimizes and weaponizes entitlement.
Webster’s dictionary defines entitlement as “the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.” And, over the years, entitlement as a result of past racial, religious and gender disfranchisement has become a rallying cry in its own right.
In countries with sophisticated democracies, populations are mainly divided into two main camps: conservative and liberals (Right and Left, respectively). The Right has traditionally been in favor of maintaining the status quo and resisting any change; the Left has traditionally been in favor of change and against keeping the status quo.
The existence of opposing ideologies is the hallmark of any successful democracy. The two sides keep themselves in check by preventing one philosophy from dominating over the other at any one time. Imagine if we all we had was a conservative government or a very progressive government. That would no longer be a democracy but a dictatorship.
What’s been happening lately, however, is that the Left is no longer fighting for positive change; it has become more of a revolutionary movement to dismantle and destroy everything that already exists. It aims to achieve those goals by leveraging the so-called “equality” and entitlement.
The movement responsible for enabling women to vote was the women’s liberation movement or feminism. Feminism’s initial goal was the equality of the sexes at the political and economical levels. They’ve successfully achieved that. However, the feminism that we’re witnessing now is something else entirely. It’s no longer a movement for equality, it has now morphed into a force of oppression by attacking and marginalizing the opposite sex (i.e., the entire debate around “toxic masculinity.”)
The same thing is happening when it comes to things like races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and anything else where there was some kind of inequality which has long been corrected.
Instead of fixing discrimination, what we are now experiencing is reverse-discrimination. Recently, a Mexican restaurant in Portland was forced to close down because Portland’s Mexican community blamed the restaurant for “appropriating their culture” (the restaurant’s main chef was a white man). A list was of “preferred” Mexican restaurants owned by Mexicans was circulated by a leftist group.
An argument can be made that because the race was a motivating factor in getting the restaurant closed that this is a case of pure racism. It is racism. Except it cannot be called racism in a traditional sense because the discrimination was against—not by—a white person. In other words, it can only be called racism when the victim is a minority and the oppressor is white—not the other way around.
Then there’s the case of the Evergreen State College where a white professor was forced off campus by non-white students because he refused to leave the campus during the so-called “non-white student day.” The college’s faculty supported the “non-white students day.” Police even told the professor that they couldn’t guarantee his safety on campus.
If you believe that what’s been happening is complete lunacy, then you’re definitely not alone. It is complete lunacy. We’ve gone from fighting for equality to an all out oppression, racism, and reverse-discrimination.
As someone who’s lived all over the world, I can tell you that this kind of “social justice” is a luxury that’s only available in the very rich and developed countries such as America, England, Canada, Scandinavia, Australia, etc. Reverse discrimination isn’t much of an issue in developing/third world countries. These countries have more pressing problems such as creating jobs and pouring concrete into oversized potholes.
Take a country like Brazil. Although it’s far from politically correct, that doesn’t exactly mean that women are somehow oppressed by men and should go on a rampage, punishing men as a retribution. Same goes for countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Ukraine, and Russia. Make equality on a political level (i.e., giving them the right to vote), but then let two parts of society coexist and find their own balance through the political process.
Democracy is destroying democracy
Now that the problem is clear, the question is how do we solve it. How do we return to a sane and healthy society?
Unfortunately, it’s not so easy. After all, we’re living in a democratic society, so this kind of “weaponized entitlement” and reverse-discrimination simply falls under “freedom of speech.” I can write essays on how I simply disagree with equality (or even worse), and nothing will really happen to me. I might get kicked out of Twitter or Facebook, but these are private corporations who can do whatever they want.
What’s really interesting is that, after Trump’s election, most of the mainstream media immediately began to write columns about how democracy is under assault, and even speculating that after he becomes president, democracy will be destroyed altogether. First of all, all these claims are beyond preposterous because America can never become a dictatorship. There are three branches of government that serve as powerful checks and balances, guaranteeing that one branch can’t enforce its will on the other two. Nobody is above the law and anyone can be picked out of the government at any time. Even the President can always be impeached by the Senate. And, no, there won’t be some coup d’etat.
Nevertheless, the media and the general public who were against Trump had an interesting point. The democracy they were talking about was something different than the “democracy” that most people understand. Although we’re still the same democracy that we were under the presidency of Barack Obama, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, or FDR, the “democracy” in this case doesn’t refer to the political system— it refers to liberalism. The fact that “democracy” is somehow under attack really meant that “liberalism” is under attack. And, if liberalism is under attack, that means politically-correctness and victimhood culture are also under attack.
In many ways, Trump’s election was a defining point in the history of this country. It was the point that democracy became inextricably fused with liberalism. Now, whenever you go against liberalism (the “regressive Left” as the political pundit David Rubin rightfully calls it), you’re also railing against democracy. And, because democracy is such a positive word, you can’t say anything negative about it. The logic works like this: democracy is good so it must be preserved, that means liberalism must be preserved. This further emboldens leftist policies, leading to more reverse-discrimination, entitlement, and the continuation “veil of victimhood” that has become a staple of our culture.
It’s important to understand that each side of the political spectrum has an extreme. The extreme of the Right is fascism, authoritarianism, and totalitarianism. But what about the extreme of the Left. Is the extreme of the Left “too much democracy”? It’s hard to even fathom that “too much democracy” can be somehow bad and sinister. What should this “too much democracy” be called? How we fight it? The problem is that no one knows what the problem of “too much democracy” is called.
Actually, it’s all very simple: too much democracy is too much democracy. But not the type of representative democracy in the political science way, but a “toxic democracy” where people have hijacked the term to push an oppressive politically-correct agenda. Huey Long once said that “If fascism ever comes to America, it will be called anti-fascism.” Those were prescient words. He was more right than he thought.
The fact that certain groups are using “democracy” as a form of oppression and retribution means that democracy is no longer a force for good; it’s now a force for something else. And, if you’re against political correctness and social justice, that means you’re against democracy. And that automatically labels you as a bigot or fascist.
Of course, I’m not arguing against democracy. I’m not saying that we need a more authoritarian form of government that prioritizes the will of the society as a whole above the will of individuals (I grew up in the Soviet Union, so I know exactly what authoritarianism is). I’m not some far-right-wing zealot who thinks we should completely obliterate the Left. The problem is that the Left (in its current form) is no longer a force for moral good. It no longer fights for positive causes such as ending racism or other forms of discrimination. It’s no longer trying to liberate someone who’s oppressed.
The result is endless bickering that’s fueled by self-righteousness and entitlement which results in the complete paralyzation of the entire society. While it’s completely normal for a society to harbor different opinions, it becomes a problem when you have one side of the country actively terrorizing the other in the name of “free speech.” Countries like China are growing at an astounding speed because they’re busy building things for the good of the country instead endlessly debating what’s morally right and what’s morally wrong. We’re being left behind on the global stage because we’ve reached a level where people’s feelings are given such high priority, that they have an uncanny ability to block an entire country’s economic growth and general well-being.
That’s precisely why the West is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Anything taken to an extreme becomes a problem instead of a solution. Too much freedom essentially means no freedom because that leads self-censorship. Democracy is slowly rotting away democracy. And, unfortunately, I don’t see “toxic democracy” going away anytime soon. The ability to say what you want and take offense at what someone else says is considered by many to be a personal right—even if it, as a consequence, infringes upon the rights of the others.
Or, maybe, just maybe, that’s what the elites wanted in the first place: to keep the masses vehemently fighting each other over trivial and inconsequential things, while they continue to rape and pillage the resources and the working class harder and harder until we’re too poor and powerless to do anything about it.
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James Maverick used to work in a cubicle as a code monkey in Silicon Valley. Then, in 2007, he quit his job and a one-way ticket to Brazil. Ever since, he continued to travel, visiting over 85 countries and living in more than a dozen of them. He loved his location-independent lifestyle and has no plans to live in America.