Monday, February 02, 2015

2 complaints about Chait

Jon Chait has irritated me in two ways. First he doesn't post often enough. Time after time I surf to http://nymag.com/author/jonathan%20chait/ and find the same posts I've already read. I think I check for new posts approximately four times per actual new post. Second he has written a second post on political correctness. I have not read this post (this is news). I do not plan to read this post. The point of this post is that if Chait wrote something which I ,the Chait addicted Robert Waldmann, choose not to read, then he has a problem. The pointlessness of this post below. I suspect that I would find the post irritating and boring, so I will just critique the Title "Secret Confessions of the anti-anti-pc movement: in their hearts they know I'm right". In fact, based on the title alone, I suspect that it is based on a false dichotomy (a fallacy more common than any other fallacy or any valid method of reasoning) and, in particular, the claim that any concession that some pc policing has ever been other than optimal implies that in their hearts Chaits critics know he is right to write "While politically less threatening than conservatism (the far right still commands far more power in American life), the p.c. left is actually more philosophically threatening. It is an undemocratic creed." (of course there aren't any anti free speech conservatives burning Dixie Chick records or, oh hell, declaring President Bush above the law and besides who ever said that that torture is undemocratic ?). Again without reading the post, I note that Chait's critics probably agree that the police have sometimes acted other than optimally. That doesn't mean that we want to eliminate the police force. Why do milder criticisms of some of the pc police suggest we agree with Chait ? Now one might ask why I don't complain about the original anti-PC post. I did have some other than favorable thoughts but they were balanced an aspect which I appreciated. I thought the article addressed a deeply boring topic, was too long by a factor of three, and was unconvincing. Among all those words, I found anecdotes but nowhere near solid evidence that political correctitude in the USA had risen declined and risen again. Nor was I convinced that PC excesses are a significant problem. But I looked forward to the epic cyber-mobbing in store. I'm tempted to claim that I roughly guessed its epic scale. What Digby said "The guy deserves a trolling bonus. Nobody does it better." And, in the end, I think one anti-PC hippy bashing post is better than none. Now I know how it feels to be a conservative reading Chait.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think a lot of other people pretended hard -- and are still pretending -- not to have read this article. For me, this was one of the most brilliant slap downs I have ever read online. I'm all with the article's sequitur: "That settling these questions through reason rather than through appeals to identity has become controversial is, of course, my point." And it certainly other authors for their non-adherence to this validity.