Social Justice Archipelago

If you wish to see what your fiancee is most likely to become as years pass, meet and speak with her mother.  Likewise, if you wish to understand the modern Left, note what prior generations of Leftists have done in nations where they assumed power.

A passage from The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). … For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.

However, who would dare to be the first to stop? … After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first! And in the obscure, small hall, unknown to the leader, the applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly – but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?

The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter…

Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved!

The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel. That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them.

That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:

“Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

On a related topic I see that the Nebula Awards have been announced. The winners in the four major categories:

Novel: Uprooted, Naomi Novik
Novella: Binti, Nnedi Okorafor
Novelette: “Our Lady of the Open Road,” Sarah Pinsker
Short Story: “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers,” Alyssa Wong

Normally, professional courtesy would require me to give my congratulations to the winners, under the supposition that they had created works of merit and been duly awarded by a panel which judged the work on it merit in an unbiased fashion.

However, all the public organs of SFWA have assured me, and the mainstream press as well, not vehemently, repeatedly, malignantly and stridently, that judging Science Fiction works based only on merit is an unparalleled evil, and that I and mine are worse than neonazi bigots even to suggest such a standard.

Hence, logically, to only way to avoid accusation of unparalleled evil to judge not on the merits, but to be biased, ignore the evidence, and grant the award as a ritualized gesture of political correctness. One need not even read the work, merely note the sex, race and victimhood status of the author. (Not his real sex, race, and victimhood, of course, but only how he self-identifies.)

It would be untoward for me to assume the Nebula panel has not followed these jury instructions in this case, because that would be to assume that SWFA is guilty of rank hypocrisy.

Consider the winners of the four categories over the last five years:

  • 2015: 4/4 women
  • 2014: 3/4 women
  • 2013: 4/4 women
  • 2012: 2/4 women
  • 2011: 2/4 women

So I will not be congratulating these winners, because I would like to be the first to stop applauding.

Allow me to assume a businesslike expression and sit down in my seat. The winners have won nothing.

Ladies, the award has been robbed of all value by your enemies, who hold you in the contempt of, if I may coin the phrase, the sexism of low expectations.

They thought you could not win in a fair competition, so they gave it to you of out pity for the inability they assume, sight unseen, mars all your work. They assume this because of your sex, and for no other reason.  They are prejudiced against you, while claiming the opposite. Do not think them your friends.

Friends tell the truth. Enemies utter flattery.