I need to have a rant.

The modern way of argumentation is getting on my wick.

People just love to try to win arguments by vilifying their opposition with labels. Some examples:

  1. Agree that the UK needs some immigration and you are a LEFTY
  2. Disagree with gay marriage and you are HOMOPHOBIC
  3. An atheist is MORALLY UNSOUND
  4. Disagree with bombing and you are a PACIFIST or TERRORIST SYMPATHISER
  6. Agree that the EU is a good thing and you are an EU FANATIC

I think that using such extreme labels to try to win a discussion shows that one is already struggling to find honest logical arguments.

Was it always like this or is this something new?

Author: gazoopi

After finally leaving the world of the black suit and tie, briefcase and laptop, hotel rooms and airports, and donning sandals, jeans and a flat cap, I have entered a new world of creative writing. If, through my written work, I can create a smile, cause a tear to fall or stimulate an LOL from my readers, I will be a winner!

51 thoughts on “Labels”

  1. ‘Tis always been such. The gentility of politics and behaviour that dominated in decades past were rooted in the War Years. Social cohesion and solidarity were absolutely essential to surviving the Second World War. The social upheaval of the 1960s-1980s seriously undermined wartime solidarity and Thatcher’s Randian policies, some for the best,some for the worst, further undermined cohesion in favour of enlightened self-interest, Tone Bliar and his Ilk utterly undermined the “enlightened” bit.

    I take it that your comment concerning EU fanatics is about some of our recent exchanges. I’ve been called far worse by the pro-EU side. Call it conditioning if you will. For years the pro-EU side were frequently snide and condescending to all those who disagreed with them. Now, that really everything we warned about has come to pass — and worse than most could have imagined, it is all too tempting to respond the way many of us were treated in the past.

  2. i think the personal denigration has got much worse.
    What really gets me is that people actually care instead of saying “So what and proud of it!”
    I always make it very clear that I am a xenophobic, racist, gun toting fascist with a strong dislike of sexual perversion, queers and other deviants I generally throw in for good measure that ‘Wogs begin at Calais” I would blow the Channel tunnel and the Severn bridge, rebuild Offa’s Dyke and Hadrian’s Wall and anything else that catches my fancy of the moment
    .It rather takes the wind out of their sails. Not really a lot to accuse one of then is there in the modern pantheon of tepid insults?
    A final basilisk eye and a pointed comment about jumped up peasants generally routs them.
    Jolly good routine for council offices I assure you. They used to hide when I hoved to on the steps of the council offices in Neyland and Haverfordwest.
    Another of my favourite tricks was to dump black sacks on their doorstep so they couldn’t get in with a letter taped to the top of the bags, accusing them of heinous crimes such as breach of contract. Town Clerk used to visit me every week nearly.
    Entertaining way to amuse oneself if one has to pay commercial rates. Might as well get something for one’s money!

  3. As James Dellingpole says in this week’s Spectator:-

    “….the way our opponents form their opinions has so little to do with our own evidence based, logic-driven view of the world that they might almost be a differen species …”

    Helps one understand how religion ( incl. socialism ) got such a grip.

  4. The pc brigade love to use the standard pc arguments because it is incapable of thinking out its own. This is why, as you say Gaz, these terms of abuse are splashed around. If one expresses a fear of being caught up in a terrorist attack, one is labelled “islamophobic”, because the pc are too stupid to realise that a phobia is a fear. Seems quite a reasonable fear to me. Of course lazy journalists are much to blame for this stereotyping. They find it easier to go with the pc flow and stick on labels. I think this is a relatively recent phenomenon and of course was imported from the US.

  5. But labelling people’s views ‘pc’ is equally dangerous. I hold many views which might be dubbed pc by my detractors but I am selective!

  6. Sorry Christopher, I don’t agree that it has always been thus. Like Christina, I think it has got worse – and I also think it has become seriously dangerous.

    I went to the LSE in the 70s. A hotbed of radical Socialism. But I never had any fear of stating that I was (unfortunately!) a poverty-stricken Conservative – nor of expressing any opinion on any subject. Indeed, all that my comments ever provoked was an invitation to have a discussion – and to be given a free copy of the latest Communist rag.

    I see that the students of London University have recently banned Germaine Greer from speaking and have removed a video of David Starkey (who is completely and utterly non-pc) and now generally block anyone speaking who does not toe the Left-Wing, Love-’em-All, and Silence-Anyone-Who-Disagrees-with-Me Party-Line.

    I find it quite frightening that the next so-called educated generation have minds that are so closed that they are not prepared to listen to other points of view and resort to violence to ensure that their only opinions are heard. This does not bode well for the future…

    However, I do think there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and it isn’t a train coming the other way! I do think that people are beginning to realise that they don’t have to accept the labels that other people put on them – they no longer accept that they are ‘racists’ when they stand up for their own culture in their own country, they no longer believe that they are ‘right-wing-fascists’ when they say immigration needs to be controlled, and they do not accept that they are ‘morally defective’ when they say they are atheists. n!

  7. Boadicea, a very good comment and one that I fully agree with. Things have got much worse in my lifetime and the obsession with PC is the cause. Because being PC has become the only acceptable narrative, it has given a lot more power to this labelling tactic.
    It is on the change though. There are a raft of ever more popular comedians who are challenging the PC lobby by being absolutely the opposite and, like you say people are slowly ceasing to accept these labels.

  8. Boadicea: let me clarify my point. Labelling and harsh rhetoric are nothing new. For a several generations there was a greater emphasis on civility and consensus, but that gradually has been in decline since the 1960s. Today it is, as you say, terrifying. I continue to work in academia and am only too aware of what is happening. Not too long ago I read an essay in which a student wrote gleefully that she couldn’t wait for older generations to die out so that their views would go with them. This was the most extreme paper in tone, but it frightened me to read how many others agreed with her in principle.

    The primary difference between heated debate and harsh rhetoric today as compared to, say, the heady days of the 19th century — and there were some right vicious debates then — is that in the past someone’s ideas would be challenged and scrutinised. Today, people will be personally destroyed. It’s an old Communist Bloc tactic that was imported to the West. It’s terrifying, but strangely amusing, to see the likes of Germaine Greer who had no difficulties smearing those she didn’t like or agree with, being subjected to an even more militant version of what she helped to create. It reminds me of a comment an old professor once made to me. He was well known for being one of the last true Marxists, but he preferred my notably right-wing views as I actually based my analysis on facts and put thought into it rather than merely rant.

    At the same time, only a highly vocal minority hold these views and they are antagonising a far larger majority. As many grow older, they realise that these ideas are simply preposterous. Having to work, pay bills and raise families tends to dampen revolutionary sentiments. Others realise that they have no chance of having anything resembling a family if they hate and antagonise potential spouses!

  9. Backside just observed: You, you…clever, academic, globe-trotting, uncompromising conservative, you!

    How’s that for labels? ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  10. I wonder why people are so scared of labels. I couldn’t care less what people call me, tend to get a bit more excited when the bullets start flying!!
    Apposite removal from scene an imperative (if unarmed)!

    Another musing. Why are fascists so much worse than commies in the modern pantheon?
    Why is Hitler ‘so much worse’ than Stalin? Don’t see it myself. No one seems to get anywhere near upset over gulags as they do over concentration camps. Yet they probably killed more in the long run.

    Why are people such cowards these days?

    I’m surprised people in Europe don’t tool up a little more these days, considering what you can buy on the internet (or in shops here, quite legitimately) ie tasers, pepper sprays, hand guns etc. Damned if I would live without such stuff. Especially with these nutter ragheads creeping about.hacking people’s throats on the tube. Quite beyond.

  11. Christine, it is not about being scared of labels. It is that we have developed a society in Us and UK which sees these labels as a way for people to be judged when trying to debate. This ensures that certain sides of an argument win over the non pc side. Consequently we have green taxes, religious extremists, gay marriage, etc etc. Personally I couldn’t care less which labels are applied to me but do care that this ‘labelling’ is controlling much of our society.

  12. Oh wel gazl I doubt it will last for that long, nothing ever does. Apart from that, I think there is far worse to worry about like WWIII.

    I always think of the Puritans. One moment all of the UK was covered up with black and white, the Restoration arrives and people had their boobs hanging out of scarlet satin! Nipples were all the rage at court.

    J I think you have a very skewed opinion of the USA, I don’t think you have ever lived here have you?

  13. Appeaser was a label attached to people who didn’t want go to war in 1939. Misleading because not wanting to start a war that you could not win (and we didn’t) isn’t really appeasement, it’s common sense. But off we went and got our arses kicked, lost the empire, and bankrupted the country………in fact we would have lost the country too if not for the Russians and the Americans.

  14. CO: they are. In Austria women are buying guns in record numbers. In July I was told that the US Army Surplus Shop in Trier was busier than ever selling self-defence related items!

  15. Jazz: the Yanks like to pretend that they saved the world — they didn’t. In fact, they only bothered to go to war against Hitler because he was stupid enough to declare war on the USA after Japan bombed Pearl Harbour after the Yanks insisted on sticking their snouts into something they helped to provoke and had no clue about. The reality is that Britain never stood alone — the Empire stood with it. Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, India, etc. Hitler had already given up on taking Britain and was attempting to reach a dรฉtente. Germany relied so heavily on its Blitzkrieg strategy as it couldn’t fight too many prolonged battles. The Russians, however — they took heavy losses and they, more than anyone, turned the tide of the war. The Chinese bled Japan dry in the Pacific. Even if they didn’t win many glorious battles, they stretched the Japanese thin over their massive subcontinent and fought guerilla campaigns against them.

  16. Christopher, We’ve been comprehensively lied to about WW2, but the truth will eventually emerge although too late to make any difference.

  17. CO, no never resident but worked for a US corp in a small town for a dozen years, spending prolonged periods there totalling over a year during the 80s and 90s.

    Widespread drug use and the burgeoning gun laws created a community I didn’t savour.

  18. Christopher – I agree. There has always been labelling and harsh rhetoric – but, in the end, it’s always been the ideas that have been attacked and not the person – no longer.

    The problem with PC is that most of the ideas behind that philosophy are really quite nice, friendly and fluffy and, moreover, ones that we’d all like to agree with: tolerance, not causing offence, accepting that others have different ideas, etc, etc. The main problem is that all these admirable attitudes have not been reciprocated by those whom we have tolerated, tried not to offend and have accepted into our countries.

    PC has become as rigid and uncompromising as any other hard-line philosophy / religion. As I have said before, I am really angry that I have had to change the nice, friendly, fluffy philosophy that I was brought up with to an aggressive philosophy that demands that I am allowed to make reasonable criticism about those who have chosen to live in MY society.

    It is very hard for those brought up in the Western tradition of tolerance but have come to understand what we have brought upon ourselves, with the very best of intentions, to yell – Stuff tolerance! Stuff not causing offence! And Stuff accepting other philosophies that have no place in MY country and negate the very freedoms that we have fought for and achieved. We don’t want to sound intolerant, cause offence or sound bigoted – but we must. Hopefully, people are now beginning to deal with the PC religion in the same way as they dealt with other freedom-limiting philosophies / religion in the past.

    Christina – There is absolutely no difference between the far right and the far left – only the way that they sell their policies – and the Left are far better salesmen than the Right because they package their goods with the promise of a better life for those with nothing. The reason that I got a copy of the ‘free’ Communist rag at the LSE was because I convinced a card-carrying member of the Communist Party to start thinking about his policies. I doubt that he is still a Communist!

    Jazz – you do not seem to understand that from the time the US finished its colonisation of the American continent, it set out to destroy the various Economic Colonies / Empires that European countries had already established so that the US could move into those markets.

    I have no idea whether Britain and the Empire could have defeated the Germans and their Allies without American help – but I do know that America only ‘lent’ Britain help against the riches of the Empire and waited until the bitter end to “Send in the Cavalry”. Thus ensuring that Britain was ‘broke’.

    I do know that the US insisted on re-payment to the last penny of Britain’s debt – whilst pouring free money into both Germany and Japan.

    I also know that when Britain wanted to repay the debt early, a matter of a few million pounds, the US refused to accept payment and hung on to places like Chicksands (near where I lived in the UK) as US bases and, no doubt, demanded that the UK continue to honour whatever agreements those ‘generous’ loans entailed.

    There is also strong evidence to show that the US used the treaties drawn up in WWII, to insist that the UK provide troops for American Foreign Policy and that they pulled every string they could to get rid of Wilson when he refused to send British troops to Vietnam – and they succeeded.

    I have also seen how the US interfered in the liberation of the Dutch Indonesian colonies – their phobia of Communism has left a very sad legacy in those islands.

    Whilst I would rather have America as an ally than any other country – I would always remind people that America does, what we should do, look after its own interests first.

  19. boadicea Jazz โ€“ you do not seem to understand that from the time the US finished its colonisation of the American continent, it set out to destroy the various Economic Colonies / Empires that European countries had already established so that the US could move into those markets……………ect “

    I understand all of that perfectly well thank you. But it doesn’t alter the fact that without US aid (regardless of their motives) and without Russia we would almost certainly have lost the war.

    This only strengthens the case for not going to war against Hitler in 1939. The duty of the UK govt was the security of Britain and the Empire. For some reason they decided that Poland was more important……..?

    I don’t dispute that the Nazis were evil, but to place your own country in peril is unforgivable, on a par with giving its sovereignty away to a bunch of unelected European bureaucrats.

  20. I have spoken to many old people over the years in Germany. Hitler offered hope and many Germans believed in the Hitler youth and enjoyed the educashun

  21. Hi Jazz. With your naval background and interest in the War, you may enjoy reading about this chap. He is a great friend of mine and I saw him only 10 days ago when I was in Cape Town. He is 92 and as splendid an example of humanity as you could wish to meet. His name is Peter Poland and in the past few years he has published a few books on Amazon. Hands to Action Stations is his account of the war including time spent on board the KG VI which took part in the sinking of the Bismarck. Read it.

  22. Bo I agree with everything you say about the USA, not that they would admit it!
    I heard it all non stop all my life from my father, in detail.

    Janus I think you are regurgitating perceived wisdom about the Hitler Youth. I gather from my aunt that it was tremendous fun. She, with a friend, who both spoke German used to go walking in the Black Forest when young, in the 30s. They met a couple of young men from a Summer Hitler Youth camp and were welcomed with open arms..This relationship between the four went on for some years and two of them married. My aunt’s friend went to live in Germany, she married a lad from an old Prussian military family. My aunt was just about to get married when war was declared.
    I gather that nearly all the young people in Germany really enjoyed the Hitler Youth, they got to do things they would never have done by themselves.
    The married couple got posted to the Eastern front because he was Prussian and married to an English woman. Evidently they kept putting him in the front line until he got killed. She was living in the nearest town. His brother officers came to her with the results of a whip round and told her to get out, evidently the gestapo intended to intern her in a concentration camp. The lady walked from Russia to Holland with a baby in her arms, of course, she sounded German and got away with it incredibly. She escaped to England and spent the rest of her life as normal, never remarried. My aunt tried desperately to stay in touch with her young man, he was killed too. She never married. I still have various pieces of Hitler Youth jewellery that he gave her, and wear them. Evidently giving certain pieces of silver jewellery was all the rage amongst the better heeled of them.

    When you consider the mess that the UK is in these days and the disgusting way many people live and the immigrants with whom the inhabitants are forced to live do you really think it would have been any worse with Hitler’s society? One thing, I bet his lot wouldn’t have put up with the parasites of any colour!
    I suspect that a lot of elderly people that fought in the war, including my father, wonder why they bothered.
    If they had know then what they know now do you seriously think they would have bothered to fight.
    I doubt it. More likely welcomed them with open arms.

  23. Yes, we could all have revelled in a Jew-free, gypsy-free, gay-free, handicapped-free society, couldn’t we? Can you hear yourself?

  24. I do not necessarily agree that Britain would have lost the war without the Americans and I certainly subscribe to the view that the US screwed Britain during it. However, I often wonder how bad things would really have been if Britain had lost the war. Britain in 1945 was still a largely an Anglo Saxon nation. Its people had more in common with Germany than they did with those who hail from Nigeria, Jamaica, Romania, Pakistan and Syria. I know, were I to be living in the UK, whom I would rather have as a neighbour.

    So, go on, give me a label.

  25. you and me both sipu!

    janus, I hear myself just fine! You forgot to mention immigrant free, muslim free, breeding for council house free and a whole host of other minor irritants too numerous to mention that downgrade life as it is lived in the UK today.

    Can you imagine Hitler putting up with stinking garbage being collected once a month by ancy picky bin men? Not on your life!

  26. No, you don’t hear yourself, or are you the complete Arian package, capable of abandoning all human conscience and empathy. Your experience of the UK must have been incredibly sad. I don’t recognise it at all.

  27. As for handicapped children, quite right too.
    I might point out that until very modern times in the UK, there was no attempt to save neonatal and non starter children. they just didn’t ‘make it’ quietly. Nothing was ever said, just quietly done by the midwives, benign neglect.
    And before you want to argue the toss on that, I know from personal experience!
    Have you ever seen a spina bifida child?
    don’t bother to answer that.

  28. We must agree to differ. I hear myself just fine. I most certainly have no empathy for most of the so called human detritus washed up on our shores. Empathy implies similarity of experience, I have nothing in common with any of them..

  29. janus “….Jazz, would you have enjoyed your education on the Hitler Youth? A life under the Nazis?….”

    Well janus if I am to consider that question seriously it must be in context. As a youth in circa 1935 Germany I probably would have enjoyed it and so might you, bear in mind that neither of us would have known where it was all leading.

  30. Jazz made the same point along the lines that I was thinking too. The Hitler youth didn’t have a bad time.
    Janus, I am completely with you at being aghast at CO statements regarding to want to create a super race society and throw out all defects. This, thank goodness, is a very minority viewpoint.
    On a different note, ain’t it amazing how a simple rant blog can turn into a major argument discussion ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. My grandfather was in the Hitler Youth. It was in most respects like a hyper-nationalistic version of the Boy Scouts. They took children camping, they taught them skills and crafts and did so in a very fun, engaging way. They provided opportunities for children to get away from their parents for a while. For many poor, urban youth it was the first chance they had to be wild and free in the countryside. They had summer camps, sports, etc. They were also taught to toe the Party’s line, to venerate Hitler and were instilled with the Party’s dogma. Children didn’t pay too much attention to that, they preferred to have fun. Hitler’s parades were excellent. In fact, they were positively inspiring. For the first five years of his rule — 1932 to 1937 — Hitler delivered on his promises and did so better than anyone could have dreamt. There was once again full employment, there was once again national pride — people had paid holidays and luxuries. Germany was once again taken seriously as a country. Everyone knew that the NSDAP were anti-Semitic, but this was the 1930s. It wasn’t that much worse, at least outwardly, than in France, the USA or even the UK. If people were struggling to make a break, all they had to do was join the Party and, as if by magic, luck suddenly turned. From 1938 to the time that war actively broke out in Germany most people’s lives remained unchanged. Those who spoke up disappeared and this prevented too many people from asking untoward questions. Even those who lived near POW and Concentration camps didn’t dare ask too many questions. I once read a story told by an Australian POW in Germany. An elderly Germany woman took pity on him and his fellow inmate and quickly gave them a bit of stale bread — she didn’t have much better herself. The German guards shot and killed her for that.

    Pity that the Americans grew dominant after the way. They’ve done little but wreck the planet. Terrible place, really. In the past decade or so it’s proven to be beyond worthless.

  32. Boadidea: originally political correctness simply meant being polite and not making insulting/disparaging comments to women and minority groups. It has, as you’ve stated, become a hard-line philosophy. It is very Maoist in tone now. Terrifyingly so. It isn’t only people of conservative persuasion who are terrified of it. Level-headed lefties are just as terrified now as it strikes everyone who doesn’t toe and ever-shifting line. What is okay today will be forbidden tomorrow and will destroy you the day after that.

    Jazz: The Americans helped a great deal and they brought the war to a much faster conclusion, but it would have been won without them. To begin with,the Chinese had fought the Japanese to a bogged-down stalemate over a vast territory. The Chinese were taking large losses of life but they also had the ability to do so. They had the population necessary to defeat the Japanese through sheer attrition. Japan had an incredibly long supply-line to defend. As you probably know, Japan has no natural resources to speak of and everything had to be imported. The Vietnamese were bleeding Japan, there were constant insurgencies in South-East Asia in general. They were only growing in strength with time. Nazi Germany was politically fragile. The NSDAP were extremely fractious and different factions hated each other with an unusual vehemence. Hitler was the only one who could manage to get them to work together. He was already ageing badly and his health was poor. He wouldn’t have lived for that many more years — especially as the consequences of holding an empire that vast grew increasingly obvious. There were resistance groups in Germany as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Italy, etc. The Norwegians were never truly defeated and they continued fighting a guerilla war. These would have broken out elsewhere. So, no, the Americans didn’t “win” the war — they did much, certainly, but they were not the great heroes they claimed to be. I don’t bother analysing Italy as Mussolini was great in his mind only. Hitler’s advisers, upon hearing of Italy’s professions of friendship, looked for ways to convince Italy to join the other side as they found Italy to be nothing but trouble. They couldn’t even defeat Ethiopia and were being bled to death by the Greeks and Albanians.

  33. CO: I can’t really criticise you too much. I find it perfectly natural that some, less culturally evolved groups such as Arabs, the majority of Americans, Pakistanis and a fair number of African groups are so proficient at conning and killing each other. A pox on all their houses. Give them all the weapons and ammunition they need and let them destroy each other.

  34. Jazz, my question whether you would have enjoyed the Hitler Youth was asked in the context that commentators here believe the UK would be better off if Germany had been allowed free rein to occupy us. Germany would have imported its racist extremism. Everybody in the UK would be aware of the principles embodied by the HY.

  35. Christopher, I suppose that you are saying that in the end Hitler would have lost the war. I think that’s likely, but not before he’d overrun these islands, without American support we’d have been starving and without Russia we would have been militarily overwhelmed. The supply lines to the empire were too long to provide materials and food. These are simple facts and it’s a pity the govt didn’t take proper account of them in 1939.
    But then we know that to politicians reality is a foreign country.

  36. Jazz: Hitler didn’t invade Sweden or Switzerland as he knew that doing so would be more trouble than it was worth. Hitler and Nazi High Command realised that the United Kingdom was simply too much work and would break Germany with no guarantee of success. The Battle of Britain had, despite the German military’s best efforts, proved to be a monumental failure for Germany and a historical triumph for Britain. The Soviet Union was the more critical country. Once again Russia does much of the work and is summarily ignored in favour of the United States of Kardashian.

  37. Interesting considering all the ‘labels’ that have been hurled at Trump, including those from the UK and the squeals from Canada

    A His support has gone up here especially in New England, quite amazing.
    B Europe has been deafeningly quiet. Bet some of those countries had thought of it first right now.!

    It has been a very entertaining day watching the media whilst I fixed my Christmas cakes. Well one has to do something to while away the time!

  38. The great thing about Trump is that he doesn’t give a xxxx, he’s not dependent on funding and can say what he thinks.
    Islam is a dangerous religion, even the ‘good’ Muslims seem to be pretty muted in their condemnation of Muslim atrocities. I guess they’re even more scared of Islam than we are ?

  39. I always took their silence for tacit support.
    Be interesting to see how it all pans out.

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