There exists a great divide between our collective self-image and our actions. We like to look upon ourselves as a rational society following clearly defined moral rules. We hold up equality before the law as a beacon to look up to. Why then, don’t we follow these sentiments up in practice? Moral double standards are frustratingly common in the political discussion space. A stricter adherence to the rules is demanded of people on what can be described as the right, while the left escapes with a slap on the wrist.
One of the greatest examples of this is our unbalanced revulsion to communism and fascism/Nazism. I’m not particularly concerned about assigning left/right labels to these ideologies. In practice, they’re all extremely authoritarian and statist ways of running society. I personally hate them with equal fervour. But society in general has a much stronger negative reaction to fascism/Nazism than communism. Communism has been prevalent to a far greater extent than the others. The death count is also significantly higher. Grading these ideologies, they all get the absolute bottom ranking, due to all of them having millions of human lives gnawing at their conscience. But the negative reactions to public displays of support are far weaker against communists than the others.
If someone walked down main street waving a communist hammer and sickle flag or wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt, few would bat an eye. If you were wearing a swastika t-shirt or waving a Nazi-flag, you would probably end up in the hospital. Both represent what I would be comfortable describing as despicable and evil ideologies, but the response would be telling in its difference. We also see the same lack of mainstream outrage to images circulating online of immigrants in Europe wearing ISIS-flags in public (In public!). Political correctness has skewed the public’s perception of history as well. The recent removals of statues depicting figures of the Confederate States of America is a case study in this happening. I find it interesting that these statues and symbols survived for so long with limited opposition, but now once they have hit a low-point of relevancy they’ve become public enemies. Is it simply part of the hysterical, hold-no-prisoners resistance opposition to Trump or do they represent something deeper?
Further I find the same themes at work if we look at identitarian protests and similar actions carries out by environmentalists. Earlier today I watched the newest video on Lauren Southern’s YouTube channel. It made me think about my own uncomfortable reaction to its contents. My own uncomfortableness must be related to my upbringing in the politically correct atmosphere in Norway. Environmentalists have on numerous occasions hung banners on public buildings, oil rigs and so on. It is mentioned in the media, but there hasn’t been any public outcry. Equal actions by identitarians such as Generation Identity in the video draw a much, much sharper negative reaction. I watched a video by Journeyman Pictures afterwards covering much of the same content. The identitarian group was quickly linked to Neo-Nazism and “extreme far-right” groups.
I remember watching the show Whale Wars on Animal Planet a few years back. Mostly the show was viewed as entertainment by the public at large, but I had a very different reaction. I was deeply pissed off that the group Sea Shepherd (the “heroes” of the show” were able to conduct themselves in such a deplorable manner without significant backlash. The likely reaction in the West was to donate money to them, not call them out on their pirate-like tactics. I would be able to join them or a similar group without facing significant (or any at all) backlash from my social circle or society at large. Joining an identitarian group would draw comparisons to the collaborationist group National Unity (Nasjonal Samling) which worked with the Nazis during their occupation of Norway or comparisons to mass murdering terrorist Breivik.
Shouldn’t we be able to agree on a set of rules that everyone adheres to in the West? The unequal nature of applying moral standards is not only intellectually dishonest, it is also annoying. Shouldn’t we have been able to move past such childishness by now?