Whatever you think of them, you have to admire the ability of progressives to, well, lie.  If brazen, bald-faced, through-your-teeth lying were an unrenewable resource, the progressive Left would have long ago exhausted the Earth’s supply of it, and there would be nothing left over for email scammers, dinner-hour telemarketers, or the evangelists of wind and solar energy.

I don’t mean merely the ability to tell untruths.  It’s one thing for a leftist politician to declare, with earnest indignation, straight face, and lower lip all a-quiver, that “I didn’t have sex with that woman”; or, “You can keep your doctor and you can keep your plan”; or, “The border is secure”; or, “Vaccines are safe and effective”; or, “What emails?” (Hillary, the Bidens, choose your liar); or, “I’m a Catholic” (Pelosi, Trudeau, Biden, choose your liar); or, “______ is Russian disinformation” (fill in the blank); or, every single word, syllable, and letter, including “the”, “a”, and “uh”, that Justin Trudeau has ever uttered about the Truckers.  Those are the kind of stretchers that leftist politicians master in the cradle, long before, that is, they learn to coo “Birthing Person”, or to sing the lyrics of that old progressive nursery rhyme, “LGBT, EFG, Now I know my ABC’s”.  (Which leads me to remind the LGBTQIA2S+ community that, unlike lying, the alphabet is an unrenewable resource.  Save the Alphabet!)

Continue reading “The Progressive Lexicon Explained”

To Priceton’s Loyal Readers:

What follows belongs under the category of shameless self-promotion.  But then, Priceton is a website, and shameless self-promotion is surely the original raison d’être of that genre. 

I write to announce the publication of my new book, Give Speech a Chance:  Heretical Essays on What You Can’t Say, or Even Think (326 pages; FGF Books, 2022), available from amazon.ca, amazon.com, and directly from the publisher, at fgfbooks.com.   Give Speech a Chance is a collection of 46 essays published in various journals over the past dozen years or so.  You may well have read some of them already, since many of the essays published in Give Speech a Chance were first posted here at Priceton.  Never mind.  Give Speech a Chance is a book:  i.e., an object of palpable, physical reality, as opposed to a collection of pixels.  While reading in general is now beyond the abilities of most university graduates, books in particular represent an endangered species.  You should buy mine for that reason alone.  Indeed, you should buy as many copies as you can afford.  Keep one for yourself, of course.  But give others as gifts to your conservative friends; or confer a copy upon a progressive acquaintance — I say “acquaintance” in the knowledge that progressives can’t abide being friends with conservatives — , just to test his commitment to “tolerance, diversity, and inclusion”, or merely to piss him off.

 

 

Continue reading “Buy My Book: I.e., Give Speech a Chance”

What follows is the text of a talk I gave on September 23 in Tysons Corner, Virginia, at an event organized by the publisher to promote my new book, Give Speech a Chance:  Heretical Essays on What You Can’t Say, or Even Think (FGF Books, 2022).  More on the book in subsequent posts…

It is a great pleasure, and a deeply-felt honour, to be here today–though I must confess that it is also somewhat intimidating to address so distinguished an audience.  Alas, I haven’t had much experience of late speaking to people who are educated, literate, rational, or even demonstrably animate:  I have been teaching, you see, at an elite university for the past two decades.  But then, I’m probably not qualified to differentiate between the animate and the inanimate; I’m not a biologist, after all.

I know that there are many people to thank for my being here, and since it is related to my theme this afternoon, I also know that gratitude, like mercy, should be undiscriminating.  So, let me begin by thanking Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for not consigning me to prison even though I supported Canada’s Trucker Convoy and am guilty of other thought-crimes and insurrectionist velleities, besides; while I’m at it, let me thank Justin for permitting me to leave my country, which is a privilege that totalitarian dictators have rarely bestowed upon their ungrateful subjects since October 1917.

Continue reading “Appreciating Joe Sobran, and the Virtue of Gratitude in General”

In the mid 1980s, two of the enduring magna opera of conservative thought, Jean Francois Ravel’s How Democracies Perish (1984) and James Burnham’s The Suicide of the West (1985) appeared in quick succession to spelunk amongst the unconscious psychopathologies of what Malcolm Muggeridge had earlier called “the great liberal death wish”.  At the same time (1984), the Conservative Book Club’s alternate selection was R. Emmett Tyrell’s optimistically titled The Liberal Crack-Up.  (Reagan was in power; it was the dawning of the age of “irrational exuberance”.)

That in the West democracy and civilization as we knew them are now roadkill putrefying on the shoulder of the Highway of Progress will get no argument from the present writer.   But that liberalism as a political philosophy is moribund or suicidal — if that was the authors’ implication—appears to have been a consoling illusion.  The Left, in its current “progressive” modality, is very much alive, and can be seen everywhere—forgive the indelicacy, but the image is all too apposite—urinating on the graves of its erstwhile undertakers.

Continue reading “The Great Conservative Death Wish”

Provincial elections in Ontario, not to mention the federal Conservative leadership convention, are just around the corner.  For those who are giddy at the prospect of replacing Doug Ford or Erin O’Toole with a genuine conservative, as opposed to another carnival mountebank, I offer the following as a way of talking you down.

From grade school onward, Canadians have been admonished about their civic duty to vote.  I’ve always wondered about that, since (as the late P.J. O’Rourke observed) voting for politicians only encourages them.  Sociopaths who steal your hard-earned wealth and dictate what you must do, say, and think need no more encouragement.  In a healthy society, those who run for office should have a modicum of fear of being run out of it.

Continue reading “Conservative Party Humbug; Or, Thank You for Not Voting”

Well, are we there yet?  Can Canada under the current “state of emergency” (how many states of emergency can legislators declare in two years?) be officially categorized as the latest in the dwindling and discredited ranks of the third world’s police states?

The very cornerstone of democracy is the right of every citizen to disagree with, and express his disagreement with, his government. That is, in essence, what distinguishes modern democracy from the tyrannies of antiquity, the divine-right monarchies of the Middle Ages, and the fascist and communist totalitarian utopias of the previous century.  But political dissent is now a crime in Canada.

Continue reading “Canada’s COVID Police State: Are We There Yet?”

  1. Welcome, Truckers

December 29, 2021, 12:53 p.m. ET

FROM:  jack@thePMO                                                   

TO: jill@LiberalPartyCampaign

Hey Jill,

Jack here, on the Hill, at the P.M.’s Office.  Listen, Jill, we just received word (“intelligence”, as we say in government) over the holidays that the Truckers’ Union (or the Fraternal Order of Truckers, or the Truckers’ Benevolent Association—whatever) is thinking about Ottawa as the site for their next big confab in Jan. or Feb. of next year.  Naturally, Justin wants to make it happen since he has always identified with the working man—”workers of the world unite” were the first words he learned to say on uncle Fidel’s knee—and (keep this to yourself) spends hours at a time sitting in the front seat of the big rigs parked at the permanent construction site outside 24 Sussex playing with the horn and the CB radio.  Well, he’s really excited, and already has his trucker outfit all picked out so he can greet the lads appropriately when they roll into town.

I’m sending you a first draft of the Welcome Message I’ve composed at JT’s request.  Ignore the strikethroughs, of course, but let me know que pensez-vous: Continue reading “Trudeau, the Truckers, and a Tale of Two Protests”

Rousseauian “noble-savage” post-moderns regard the Christian doctrine of original sin as gratuitously pessimistic; just thinking about it induces in them paroxysms of indignation, leading to righteous fulminations against the original Christian sin of “judgmentalism”.  (Thus, progressives have put judgmentalism behind them.)

Indeed, in polite society, the mere mention of such medieval archaisms as sin—even the use of the classical term “vice”—marks their speakers as bigoted rubes and fuddy-duddies, just as dropping his h‘s marked a man as ignorant and lower class in Victorian England.  But no amount of leveling can superannuate the res that underlie the nomina.  And as one looks around at the world, the canonical Seven Sins of Christian tradition seem hardly sufficient to cover the new variants that infect us.

Continue reading “A Look Back and Around at Sin, Medieval and Modern”

While Mrs. P was in the kitchen this Advent baking her self-identified and non-binary-gendered gingerbread persons, I was wondering whether in a hundred years from now the Christmas story would have to be flagged by a trigger warning, or banned outright.

After all, the three principal characters belong to an all-white, conventionally heterosexual family.  As the inheritors of white privilege, they are adored by poor and oppressed shepherds; and the only people of colour in the Nativity frame are stereotyped as third-world despots paying fulsome tribute to an aristocratic Prince who will soon extend his colonial hegemony over the entire world.

Mary, in spite of having been violated by the Father, goes meekly, indeed, gratefully along with her degradation in Judea’s misogynist, male rape culture; and the only person who is troubled (Joseph), blames the victim. Continue reading “Priceton’s Sixth Annual Christmas Trigger Warning; or, The Christmas Story, 2121”

As we have known for some time now, comedy is dead:  run over by the serial bandwagons of political correctness, and left as roadkill on the shoulder of the Highway of Progress.  Such masterpieces of the stand-up comedian’s art as Henny Youngman’s perfectly crafted two-liner, “I dropped my wife off at the beauty parlor the other day.  She was there for three and a half hours; and that was only for the estimate,” are now unspeakable; indeed, they are stonable offences.

Comedy can only take root in soil watered by self-reflection and quickened by the sunshine of liberty; in an age in which audiences are drunk on the sour grapes of resentment, victimhood, and self-esteem, the comedic arts fall on stony ground.  Ironically, comedy thrived even amongst the untermenschen of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, though not, of course, among the self-serious fanatics of the ruling Parties.  And in our Western progressive theocracies, practically everyone who counts—the media, the academy, Big Business, Big Tech — is a member of the Party.

Continue reading “The Death of Satire”