The furore over a Dominican nun’s lecture at a Catholic High School in Charlotte, North Carolina reported here and the resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich here shows the passive aggressive sickness of the progressive movement.
Leaving the issue of homosexuality and same sex marriage on one side, consider the way these protests have been carried out. First there is the passive sentimentalism displayed. Emotions were high and were used to beat up sister and those who dared to support her. People “were in tears!!” Children were upset!! Mothers were weeping. So the passive aspect of the passive aggressive progressivism was displayed. The language in the passive state is victim language. The person is “deeply concerned” or “deeply saddened”. We see this all the time. The bottom lip comes out. The progressives complain of being bullied. Some priests are good at this too. I knew one guy who used to hang his head and look sad and hurt when he didn’t get his own way. We also see victim body language.I was moderating a meeting once between an employer and a difficult employee and the employer used these tactics. He actually curled up in a fetal position in his chair and whined, “Why is this so difficult? I’m the sort of person who needs love!!”
The person using the passive state blackmails the other person with emotional pressure into doing what he or she wants. Nobody wants to be mean. Nobody wants to make mothers cry and children be afraid. No one wants to be the aggressor, so the passive aggressive person uses emotions to engineer the situation to their advantage. Often they do it very skillfully and usually they do it unconsciously.
As soon as they sense the advantage they flip to aggressive mode. In the meeting between employer and employee, as soon as the employer (who was playing the victim) sensed that he was winning he sat up, came out of the fetal position and leaned forward in his seat. His expression changed from the poor little boy who was being bullied and hurt to the dominant employer. So it is with all passive aggressive types. As soon as they begin to get their way they are instantly on the attack, and the attack is vicious. The attack will inevitably be fueled not only with rage, but self righteous rage. The person is now on a righteous crusade. They have shifted from victim to righteous warrior on a campaign for justice. They shift from underdog to overlord. They like to see themselves as marching forward against a cruel and heartless foe.
This exposes another weakness in their tactics–shameless self dramatization. The mixture of passivity (in which they see themselves as the persecuted victim) and aggression (in which they see themselves as the noble warrior) lends itself to a sick make believe–a self dramatization cut off from all connection with reality.
This is what we have seen in the case of Charlotte Catholic, but also in the Mozilla affair, and we will see it increasingly as those who are pushing the progressive agenda continue their relentless campaign.
One of the most disturbing things about this behavior is its lack of reasonableness. The entire thing is motivated and driven by high emotion–either the tears, sadness and weakness of supposed victimhood or the rage, fury and righteous anger of the campaigner. These people cannot be reasoned with and it is a mistake to try. The reason they cannot be reasoned with is because they left the equipment for logical reasoning a long time ago when they abandoned the idea of objective truth.
If there is no objective truth, then there is no such thing as logical reasoning. It is impossible to believe that one can use logic to discus or discover truth if you do not believe there is such a thing as truth. All that is left therefore is stark utilitarianism–doing a thing or making a decision based on the usefulness of the possible consequences–or raw emotion and sentimentality.
When raw emotion replaces reason be prepared for totalitarianism because in such a condition of chaos, brute force will remain the only power that is able to maintain a semblance of social order.